I Rode Out Hurricane Irma, So I Thought I'd Ride Out to the Ozarks, With a Bit of Route 66 Thrown In

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by 1/2crazedbikr, Dec 24, 2017.

  1. 1/2crazedbikr

    1/2crazedbikr Go Big or Go Home!

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    Continuing east on the Mother Road, we soon came upon the ruins of an old gas station not far outside Arcadia. Many old gas stations have been restored on Rte 66, this is obviously not one of them.
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    Ruins of Old Gas Station, Circa 1920

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    Interesting Document Posted Outside

    It appears the owners had a small time counterfeiting operation, but were found out, arrested, then further down near the bottom...something about a body... I wish it was all legible.

    And then a little further down the road, this historical marker commemorating the Oklahoma Land Rush.
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    On Rte 66 in Luther, OK

    I always find it fascinating to learn a little of the history of an area I am riding through. Yet another reason that back roads are infinitely more interesting than the Interstate!

    More to come...

    #21
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  2. 1/2crazedbikr

    1/2crazedbikr Go Big or Go Home!

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    Day 5, continued

    Continuing on into the heat of the day, we came upon an old gravel section of Historic Rte 66 which we rode on until it rejoined the current route after a few miles. Naturally I forgot to get a pic. Much of the original route was gravel and was paved over long ago, it would have been nice to have a shot of the original road bed.

    Soon we came upon this old gas station in Warwick, the Seaba Station. Built in 1924, it has been restored and is now a Motorcycle Museum.
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    Seaba Station Motorcycle Museum, Warwick, OK
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    Don't Look Too Close, Mr. A is in the Pic. Must be Letting His Guard Down...

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    These Old Gas Pumps Were Really Cool

    The museum is free and is owned by a couple of regular guys who are indulging their passion for older motorcycles. Donations are accepted, but they are in no way pushy about it. You even have to ask where the money jar is. We both made a donation. We figured they could use the money to update the facilities...
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    The Original Seaba Station "Facilities"

    More to come...
    #22
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  3. 1/2crazedbikr

    1/2crazedbikr Go Big or Go Home!

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    Day 5, continued
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    This Fieldstone Building Once Served as the Restroom for Weary Travelers Along The Mother Road, at Seaba Station
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    Inside Was This Vintage, Early '70s CB750 "Four Piper"

    There were hundreds of old bikes in the museum. Among them this early '70s Honda 750. I once owned a 1976 I bought used in 1982. It was my second bike. My first was an olive green 1973 Honda 350 Four I bought for $500 in 1980. I loved that bike. Never should have sold it. I'd love to get my hands on one now for that price!
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    Something a Little Different, the Actual Motorcycle From the Recent Captain America Movie
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    And This Evel Knievel Pin Ball Machine

    Also inside were early 1900 Harley Davidsons, Indians, and many brands I had never heard of. A very interesting place, and well worth the visit. But the road was calling, so we fired up our bikes and headed east once again on Rte 66.

    A note about the location of this fine establishment...It is actually located in Warwick, OK, but their website gives the location as Chandler. Perhaps that's their mailing address. But it is very easy to find, right on Rte. 66, in Warwick, OK.

    More to come...
    #23
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  4. 1/2crazedbikr

    1/2crazedbikr Go Big or Go Home!

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    Day 5, continued

    A few miles further down the road we came to this curious looking structure that just begged for a picture.
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    And Then There is This??? In Chandler, OK

    It's obviously a storage facility for something, I would guess gravel or sand for road construction or maintenance, judging from the look of the conveyor system and the bulldozer just inside. I can't help but think the design was inspired by it's location on Rte 66, as it calls back to the outer space, flying saucer, sci-fi inspired look so popular in the late 1950's and early 60's, during the heyday of the Mother Road.

    Later on we stopped for a late lunch in this interesting looking roadside cafe.
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    The Rock Cafe, Stroud, OK.

    First opened in 1939, it is said the owner purchased the sandstone used in the exterior, left over from another construction project, for a grand total of $5.00.

    After a disastrous tornado nearly leveled the town of Stroud in 1999, the Cafe was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2001. The same year the owners received a grant from the National Park Services Route 66 Corridor Preservation Project, which enabled a complete restoration.

    Catastrophe struck again in 2008 with a devastating fire that destroyed everything but the exterior walls and the cooking griddle, which has been in continuous use since the opening, according to the owners. After another complete rehabilitation, the restaurant reopened in 2009. The establishment plays up the Rte 66 theme with great effect, right up to the "Cars" characters in front of the building. They also have great food at decent prices.

    Back on the Mother Road, we searched for a Mom and Pop Motel with a Rte 66 motif for the night, to no avail. We had to settle for a nondescript chain hotel in nearby Catoosa. But I did finally find a convenience store that actually sold beer, so after a few Coors Lights, we called it an early night.
    #24
  5. Dirt2007

    Dirt2007 Long timer

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    Enjoying your ride report. Little more info you may not have known about rock cafe.




    [​IMG][​IMG]

    For instance, Sally the Porsche, portrayed in the film by Bonnie Hunt, is based primarily on Dawn Welch, owner of the historic Rock Cafe in Stroud, Okla. Welch’s restaurant is one of the road’s most acclaimed, as Michael and Jane Stern of Roadfood.com will attest. If you plan to visit the Rock Cafe for a meal, it is advised that you be there during off-peak hours. The restaurant tends to get very crowded during the lunch and dinner rush on weekends.
    #25
  6. 1/2crazedbikr

    1/2crazedbikr Go Big or Go Home!

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    Day 6, September 17, 2017-Blue Whales, Ku Kus, Packards, dead batteries and flat tires...

    We awoke early to a light drizzle. So after an uninspiring "free" breakfast buffet, we donned our rain gear and headed east once again on the Mother Road in search of yet another iconic Rte 66 attraction, the famous "Blue Whale".
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    Only on Rte. 66. The Whimsical, Iconic, "Blue Whale"' Catoosa, OK

    The Blue Whale was built by an enterprising 60 something year old, Hugh Davis, in the early 1970's. Originally an anniversary gift for his wife ,who loved whale figurines, the whale was also intended as a swimming hole for his grand kids.

    Almost immediately travelers on nearby Rte 66 began stopping by for a quick dip themselves. Soon a sandy beach, picnic tables and lifeguards were added, and it was officially opened to the public.

    After Mr. and Mrs. Davis passed away, the park began to quickly fall into disrepair. After a decade of neglect, local volunteers repaired and repainted the structure to it's original hue, as it stands to this day. It has been featured in many movies and TV shows including "American Pickers" and "The Great Food Truck Race".

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    Sorry, the Grand Kids Wanted a Selfie of PopPop. What Better Place than the Blue Whale?

    Heading off again on Rte. 66 into an increasingly cold, windy and wet morning, we pulled into a gas station in Foyil for a fill up on fuel and some much needed hot coffee.
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    Great Coffee at the Foyil Express, Foyil, OK

    Fortified with caffeine and much warmer, we rode off into the rain once more.

    Proceeding eastward through the drizzle, we see yet another example of Rte 66 chic in this advertisement for a Bail Bondsman next to a very defunct motel in Afton, OK.
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    Been Bad? Call Brad.

    More to come...
    #26
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  7. 1/2crazedbikr

    1/2crazedbikr Go Big or Go Home!

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    That's incredible! I had no idea! No wonder the Cars characters outside...
    And yes the place was crowded and the food was great!
    Glad you're enjoying the report.
    #27
  8. twowings

    twowings Comfortably Numb...

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    Not to nit-pick, but for others seeking it Seaba Station is in Warwick, OK...not Chandler...
    #28
  9. 1/2crazedbikr

    1/2crazedbikr Go Big or Go Home!

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    I remember wondering about that when I posted it. It's obvious on Google Maps that it's in Warwick, but the address on their website says Chandler. I'll go back and add a comment to that effect. Thanks for the heads up!
    #29
  10. 1/2crazedbikr

    1/2crazedbikr Go Big or Go Home!

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    Day 6, continued

    Rolling into Afton, we busied ourselves taking photos of yet another restored filling station. This one restores old Packard automobiles.
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    The Afton Station. Purveyor of Finely Restored Packards and Old Fashioned Tourist Trap, According to Their Sign
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    My Infinite Powers of Observation Tell Me They Haven't Restored This One Yet...
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    Here's a Beaut, Behind the Glass. Unfortunately it was Sunday and They were Closed so We Couldn't Get a Closer Look.

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    On Route 66, Even the U-Haul Trucks Get with the Route 66 Theme!

    More to come...
    #30
  11. CalamariKid

    CalamariKid Been here awhile

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    Love the report, and some nice pics you are taking there!
    #31
  12. 1/2crazedbikr

    1/2crazedbikr Go Big or Go Home!

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    Thanks!

    It's amazing what you can do with just a smartphone and a little editing these days.

    It was a different kind of trip for me. More relaxed, nothing too epic, not too many big mile days. But still lots of fun!
    #32
  13. Bultaco74

    Bultaco74 Been here awhile

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    Good ride report.
    #33
  14. 1/2crazedbikr

    1/2crazedbikr Go Big or Go Home!

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    Day 6, continued

    Shortly after leaving Afton, Mr. A's battery light came on again. It had been on and off intermittently over the last few days. He had messed with the terminals a couple of times and always got it running again. This time, when we pulled into Miami, OK for gas, it wouldn't start. Period.

    While we both thought it was likely the stator, Mr. A. wanted to replace the battery on the off chance it was bad and not the charging system. A quick call, and I located a battery that would fit his bike at an auto parts store less than a mile away. While he slaved in the chilly drizzle removing the battery (which was a royal PITA), I relaxed with a hot cup of coffee under the roof of the convenience store.
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    Yes, That's My Boot as I Relax With a Hot Cup of Coffee as Mr. A Struggles With His Battery

    A short time later, battery in my pannier, I rode the mile, got the new battery, and rode back. Once again I relaxed under cover, enjoying another cup of joe, but all too soon, Mr. A. had the bike up and running and we were on our way in the chilly rain back down US 66.

    Searching for somewhere to get out of the rain and have a bite to eat, we stopped at Waylans KuKu Hamburgers, a well known Rte. 66 hangout, famous for it's working KuKu Clock. Unfortunately it was Sunday and they were closed, so we had to settle for some pictures.
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    Waylan's KuKu Hamburgers, Rte 66, Miami, OK. Known For It's Working KuKu Clock

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    Waylan's Really Cool Neon Sign, Total Route 66 Kitsch

    Settling for a nearby Mexican joint, which seemed authentic and was actually very, very good, we were soon on our way once again down the Mother Road.

    More to come...


    #34
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  15. farrell caesar

    farrell caesar Seezer

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    Nice report. Never thought i would plan a trip to get a onion burger in El Reno Ok.
    #35
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  16. 1/2crazedbikr

    1/2crazedbikr Go Big or Go Home!

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    It was just one of those memories from a previous trip that was kind of funny and worth repeating. Plus we had the time and had to go somewhere!
    #36
  17. 1/2crazedbikr

    1/2crazedbikr Go Big or Go Home!

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    Day 6 continued

    Heading north and east on Rte 66, we soon found ourselves in extreme southeastern Kansas, through which the highway passes for 10 or 12 miles. In this area the route also follows the Kansas Frontier Military Highway, which roughly approximates the old military trail used by the Army to transport troops and supplies between forts in the days of the Kansas Frontier.
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    Rte 66 and Kansas Frontier Military Highway

    Passing through Baxter Springs, KS, we stopped briefly for a photo op at yet another restored gas station. This one, built in 1930, has been converted to a Visitor's Center.
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    Baxter Springs, Restored Phillips 66 Station

    Just outside of Baxter, we became briefly separated when I stopped for another picture. When I saw Mr. A. waiting in a roadside rest area, I pulled off onto the shoulder briefly to prepare to pull a U turn to join him.

    As I rode along the shoulder, I felt a brief, but strong shimmy from the rear wheel just before I stopped. Fearing a flat tire, I dismounted and took a look, but the tire seemed, and felt normal. As I pulled into the rest area it was obvious there was some kind of problem. Putting my bike on the centerstand and spinning the wheel, I soon found...
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    This. A 3/8 Inch, 6 Inch Long Bolt Had Skewered My Brand New Shinko 705! Yikes...

    No matter, I had a plug kit, compressor, and a can of fix a flat for good measure, and we were soon back on the road. I was concerned about plugging such a big hole, but the tire appeared to be holding air for the time being. I guess this was our day for mechanical issues. Hopefully it would be our last...

    At the same rest area was this interesting, and sad historical marker.
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    Baxter Springs Massacre

    Hoping the tire plug would hold, I took it easy for the next few miles, then stopped and checked the pressure. Once again it seemed to be holding, so we headed back down the road again.

    More to come...
    #37
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  18. 1/2crazedbikr

    1/2crazedbikr Go Big or Go Home!

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    Day 6, continued

    After riding in the rain most of the day, experiencing a dead battery and having a flat tire, neither of us really felt like pitching tents that night. But we didn't really feel like being cooped up in some crappy motel room either, so a quick search and a phone call and I had booked us in a camping cabin at the KOA in Joplin, MO. I've become sort of a fan of the KOA camping cabins. They are typically quite a bit cheaper than a motel room, have air conditioning, a nice covered porch, and most importantly, a fire ring.

    So if you can give up the boob tube and you don't mind having to walk a short distance to the bathroom, you can have a nice, relaxing, fresh air evening and enjoy a nice campfire to boot. All without having to put up your tent. Nice for a change of pace.

    Plus they had beer.
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    Leaving the Fire Building Duties to Mr. A, I Kicked Back With a Cold One at the End of a Long Day

    Fortunately the campground had some nice dry firewood and Mr. A. soon had a roaring blaze going. I think he was a Boy Scout before he worked for the CIA.
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    Very Few Things in Life Beat a Campfire and a Cold Beer After a Day Spent Riding Motorcycles

    More to come...
    #38
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  19. vt700guy

    vt700guy Adventurer

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    Following
    #39
  20. Road Tripper

    Road Tripper Stromin Along

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    Enjoying the report and pics. Was nice to meet/chat today at Cycle Gear. Safe Travels. Cheers
    #40